I stood in line patiently on one of my errands last week. There were lots of people with complicated requests, and the workers were doing their level best to help while keeping the line moving. I smiled at the clerk who helped me and acknowledged her difficulties when she apologized for the wait. I hope it helped her get through the rest of her shift, but really it wasn’t so much a noble spirit on my part as promising myself a reward if I would behave until it was my turn at the counter.
I learned about the Bribery School of Parenting from a friend, who learned about it from one of her aunts. For every three errands I had to run with kids in tow, I would do one thing for them. I reminded them of the deal when we set out, and mostly it worked. That’s when I started using the technique on myself, to get through the unpleasant errands we all face.
The reward I chose for being a good girl in line was a half-yard of fabric for which I have no project in mind (and a few bright, shiny objects on the clearance table). I admitted this to the clerk who cut my fabric. She thought it was the best idea since sliced bread, and reminded me that not only was it cheaper than a half-pound of chocolate there were also fewer calories.
There’s nothing better than a day with a good giggle.
Luck and wisdom!